Muse Dash – Advanced Scoring Guide

Advanced Scoring Guide: Techniques

By Miriitode.

Advanced Manual Fever Activation – Pattern Activations

Going through different ways of activating manual fever was something, but now how about activating manual fever when challenging patterns appear?

Activating Fever on Gemini / Double Notes

Activating fever on Geminis and double notes (notes that are placed in such a way that you would hit them like a Gemini)  can be a bit tricky when one’s used to hitting them with two fingers (ground and air). One can activate them by regular means, but it’s hard to do consistently, more so when they are not used to hitting manual fever at all. 

Hitting this pattern with manual fever with regular means can have a chance to not include the gemini to the fever or get a great because of messing it up. 

A better way of hitting geminis and double notes with manual fever is to hit them with a “Gemini Key”

Gemini keys are a set of keys that are ground and air, and are placed in a way that it can be both pressed by one hand, like this (N and K are pressed by the right index finger and right middle finger respectively):

They are usually keybinds that are above and below one another, and these allow for easy activation of fever for Gemini notes, or even double notes or holds.

To activate manual fever with Gemini Keys, you should hit the Gemini key with one fever and the fever button with the thumb of the other hand. You can do this vice-versa with the other hand. It’s usually easier to do the gemini key on the dominant hand and use the other hand for fever.

This may take some time to get used to, especially using Gemini Keys, but they are useful to make activating on double and gemini notes easier.

Activating Fever On / In Between Streams

Fever is best activated on very dense areas, such as streams, which is pretty easy, because it’s just hitting the key and the fever button and then continuing on streaming, but activating in between streams is another story.

Activating between a stream is less common, but given specific circumstances, it may be possible to find one. To hit one, it’s more of taking a close look at the screen closely and getting the timing right to hit that specific note and the fever. It can be hard, but this really depends on the situation one is in.

A little bit of cheesing it, but if the fever needs to be activated in between a stream, and the fever activates by that time, you may just spam the spacebar in hopes that it can get activated there. 

Activating Fever In Between Double Notes and Hold Notes

Some Routes require you to activate fevers in only one of the double notes, or to activate fever in a spot where a regular note and a hold star is at, which you’d need to hit the regular note with fever instead of the hold star and vice versa. How will you be able to hit a fever in that way?

Thinking about it, we’d have to activate fever in between those two notes. Thankfully, since they are not Gemini notes, you can hit one of the notes earlier, activate fever, then hit the other note after. This diagram shows how it would look like to activate fever in this situation.

To activate fever like this, we’d have to quickly activate fever before we hit the last note. For example, we are to activate fever at 313 combo, but only the air note so that we get more points, as well as to hit an extra note with fever later before that fever ends. We first let the hold finish first, then pressing the spacebar to activate fever, then hitting the air note later. Activating fever in this situation is difficult, but practicing is key.

Advanced Manual Fever Activation – Where to Activate?

Activating fever can be hard to figure out from time to time. Sometimes it may look like it feels better to activate somewhere else, but that just makes the score worse than before and such. This part of the document discusses possible situations on where to activate fever on a route.

Note Density

The rule of thumb on when to activate fever is in an area where the note density is big enough to be part of fever for 5 seconds. In other words, the best places to activate fever is where the most enemies can be hit in 5 seconds.

For example, given a chart that has fever activating as soon as it is being filled, one can see that it is activated in a less dense area, only hitting 5 notes. But noticing soon after, there is a much more dense area after. The fever can be delayed until the player reaches the part that is much more dense. This fever will hit 10 notes in that part, compared to 5 notes in the previous part.

Note Type & Muse / Elfin Perks

The note types present or the perks of the Muses and Elfins can also play a role in when to activate fever, especially with the specific Muses and Elfins.

For example, if a player’s combination is Joker + Dragon, optimal places to activate fever is when the combo is already at 70 or more, and during places where the boss appears and throws boss enemies to the player. 

This mainly depends on the combinations one’s using but it usually combines this and the first case of note density as well to be the optimal way to activate fever.

Number of Fever Activations / Shifting Subsequent Fevers

The number of total fevers activated can also have an effect on where to optimally activate fever.

For example: Given a specific chart, its auto fever route has 4 fever activations, spanning from start to end, where the final fever is very near the end of the chart. It may be ideal to move fevers around and delay them more in such a way that the notes in the middle of the chart are in favorable places for the fever bonus, but sometimes it can cause problems, especially with subsequent fevers being out of the line in order to be activated in optimal areas. Activating the fever late to optimize earlier fevers can affect the last fever, where it will become unoptimized compared to its auto fever counterpart because of the fever bar taking a while to fill up to activate.

This factor of activating manual fever is heavily dependent on the chart and even the routing one takes as well. It can provide better, or even worse scores due to the fevers lining up or not lining up to favorable positions.

Advanced Auto Fever Scoring

There isn’t much to discuss about advanced auto fever scoring, but there are some more things to consider for when one’s trying to further optimize the routes, mainly about fever manipulation, even though fever cannot be activated manually. Strategies like this will be discussed in the next sections, and these can also be applied to manual fever as well.

PP/ELP – [Perfect Perfect] / [Early / Late Perfect]

A PP or ELP is an advanced scoring technique used to further optimize fever scores or fever routes. It is usually when a note is intentionally hit early or late in order to optimize the score. There are many uses for this technique in both Manual and Auto fever cases. Depending on the song’s BPM, it may be easy or hard to achieve these techniques consistently.

Use Case 1: To Grab an Extra Note in Fever

In some cases, it can be possible to grab an extra note during fever mode. The fever has to be activated as late as possible with the first note, but not too late enough that the hit note will get a Great judgment. Sometimes that can be enough to hit one more note, but sometimes, the extra note has to be hit earlier than usual in order to make it considered as a hit fever note. This can give the player extra points from the fever modifier.

The following is a gameplay example of a PP/ELP in use to grab an extra note in fever. 

At the point the fever is activated at 209 combo, the first note was hit with a late, this allows the fever to have (barely) enough space to hit an extra note with fever.

Notice the large note at 233 combo is hit early, and at this frame, the fever bar is close to empty. If that note were to be hit later, it would not have the fever bonus, thus losing the extra 50% of score it would have given you.

Use Case 2: To Manipulate The Fever Gauge

It is possible to manipulate the rate at which the fever gauge is increased with PP/ELP.

An example is to intentionally hit a note late to be not included in fever, the opposite of Use Case 1, in order to activate another fever earlier than if that note were to be included for fever.

The following is a gameplay example of a PP/ELP in use to manipulate the fever gauge. 

Notice that the air note at 75 combo was hit late. This is done so that the next fever can be activated earlier thanks to the extra fever points that air note gave.

Use Case 3: To Maintain HP for Devil Survival Routes (for Holds)

When holds are held with Devil, her HP is maintained until the hold ends. 

Early perfect holds can give you an extra HP point to save. It is done especially with a regular note after the hold for more HP. If there is another hold by the end tail of the first hold, it is not necessary to get an early judgment on the succeeding holds, as there is no HP drain between those two, as long as the next hold is not held too late.

PG/IG – [Perfect Great] / [Intentional Great]

A PG/IG is another advanced scoring technique used to further optimize fever scores or fever routes. It makes use of intentionally making a great judgment in order to optimize score. It is mostly used in auto fever runs in order to easily manipulate fever activations.

Use Case 1: To Easily Manipulate Auto Fever Activation

Just like the use case 2 for PP/ELP, it can be used to move a fever activation since getting a great gives half the fever points. You can use this to activate your next fever somewhere better than it originally was.

The following is a gameplay example of a PG/IG in use to manipulate the fever gauge. Note how the first small note was hit with a great and not a gemini. This is so that the score loss is minimized. 

The reason why that small note was hit with a great is because at the end of the first segment, with the play where the small note was not hit with a great (shown above), the fever starts right at the start of a segment with just blue notes, making that fever very unoptimized.

Use Case 2: To Grab an Extra Note in Fever to Manipulate The Next Fever

This makes use of intentionally hitting the last note early in order to gain more fever points to activate the next fever. It can be done when trying to PP the extra note in fever is not possible.

The following is a gameplay example of a PG/IG in use to Grab an Extra Note in Fever to Manipulate The Next Fever. The air note at 77 combo was hit early so that it can count as a fever note, thus delaying the fever bar from activating too early for the next fever.

Use Case 3: To Maintain HP for Devil Survival Routes (for Holds)

Just like use case 3 for PP/ELPs, Intentionally getting early greats during the starting holds can help Devil to maintain HP throughout the song, but this can also be like the use case 1 for auto fever Devil survival runs to manipulate fever. Intentionally getting early greats on holds saves much more HP than doing a PP/ELP, depending on how early the hold is held, but sometimes this will cause you to lose more points as it only gives you half of what it normally gives you if it’s done too much.

FAP/EA – [Floating Activation Point] / [Empty Activation]

No this isn’t what you think I swear.

A FAP/EA is an advanced scoring technique used to further optimize fever scores or fever routes. This makes use of intentionally activating a fever in a part where there are no notes in some duration of the fever. It is mainly used in order to obtain more locations to activate fever by getting more notes to fill up the fever bar for the next fever to hit earlier.

The following is a route that makes use of FAP/EA to gain more score in a Manual Fever route. We can see here that the fever was activated very early before the note at 63. This was done so that the note at 74 would not be hit with fever, which would happen if the fever were to be activated just before 63.

This allows for a better activation point for the next fever.

Masher Manipulation

Mashers can also be manipulated by the rate at which it is being smashed in order to optimize fever or help aid with Devil Survival routes.

Use Case 1: Fever Starting on Masher (Auto Fever)

When a fever starts at a masher, the masher can be delayed in order to start the fever later and to hit more notes, just be careful to not hit it too slow or else you will be missing points from a fully hit masher.

The gameplay example shows how Masher Manipulation can be used to move the fever activated to a better position. Notice how big the empty gap is between the finished masher and the next notes in the first play compared to the second play, where the masher was delayed as much as possible, trying to reduce the empty space when the fever activates.

Use Case 2: To Preserve HP for Devil Survival Routes

Mashers delay the HP drain of Little Devil Marija as long as the player is still doing the masher. It is advised to keep the masher delayed as much as possible, while not being too slow and breaking the masher or losing potential score because of not getting enough masher hits.

The gameplay example shows how Masher Manipulation can preserve a bit more HP for Devil. Notice how the HP decreases much more when the masher is completed earlier.

Little Devil Survival Routes

Introduction

As mentioned before, Little Devil Marija cannot pass some charts. But she can barely pass some of them, if certain things are done correctly.

Devil Survival Routes are scoring routes in which Devil’s HP will be extremely low at one point in the chart or at the end of the chart. These routes are sometimes difficult due to the Note Density being barely enough for Devil to maintain HP. Sometimes, her HP can go down as low as 1 HP remaining until the next point she gains HP or at the end of the chart.

This type of scoring route may be very difficult for beginners. It may be advised to practice some advanced scoring techniques in order to clear these routes.

Survival Route Techniques

Some of these Techniques are already mentioned in the previous section, but will be included here too.

Maintaining HP With Early Holds

Early Holds, both PP/ELP and PG/IG, are the main techniques to use in order to conserve Devil’s HP. Hitting holds early can shave off the time needed in order for the game to reduce her health by a point or more, which can be the difference between survival and failing the stage.

Masher Manipulation

Mashers delay the HP drain of Little Devil Marija as long as the player is still doing the masher. It is advised to keep the masher delayed as much as possible, while not being too slow and breaking the masher or losing potential score because of not getting enough masher hits.

Late First Note Hit

Devil’s HP Drain only starts as soon as the first note is hit. Hitting the very first note of the chart as late as possible without it becoming a great can be a useful trick to save more HP, when applicable (can work on regular notes as a first note, not holds, mashers or gears as a first note).

Early / Late Heart Note Get

In some cases, you can gain enough health by hitting a note that has a heart early or late, like the same way a PP or PG is done. This can be used in cases such as the HP drain being delayed a bit more to eventually clear the song with a few HP points remaining, or to hit it early so that you won’t die before getting the heart.

This gives some advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you hit it.

  • Hitting the note early will give you less HP for the succeeding segments of the chart, unless it is guaranteed that it is passable without any extra techniques.
  • Hitting the note late will help with the succeeding segments of the chart, but will be difficult to achieve if you will run out of HP nearing the hit area of that note.
  • Hitting the note as an early great will leave you with 2 HP less to work around with, and with decreased score from the note.
  • Hitting the note as a late great will be a big help with succeeding segments, but will decrease your score from the note.

Perfect Judgements

Of course, you would need to get as many perfects as possible, as getting perfects is the only way besides red hearts to gain HP.

Advanced Scoring Guide: Routing

Route Notation

A “route” is a set of numbers, which correspond to the combo (assuming no combo breaks happen) where manual fever is to be activated. In order to easily explain the route to other people, there is a notation for scoring routes.

The numbers represent the combo on when to activate fever. So if the number to activate the fever is 73, then you must activate fever as you hit the note that makes the combo display 73. There are also abbreviated scoring terms that can also appear to denote a scoring technique required when executing the route.

Routing is the action of finding and recording the optimal places to activate fever in a chart, as well as finding any techniques required to increase the maximum score obtained.

Shorthand Notation

  • 100, 171
  • 73PP, 156, 224PP, 312, 392PP, 508PP
  • 60PG, 133, 206PG

The shorthand notation only shows the combo to activate fever from, as well as any techniques needed in that specific area. This is a short way of displaying scoring routes.

Detailed Notation

  • 66-72, 126-134, 192-202
  • 62-78 , 158-179PP , 231-248PP , 309-324 
  • 283L-323E, 382-428, 484L-505, 552-587, 641-672 

The Detailed Notation shows the combo in which the fever starts and ends at. Any scoring technique used is also shown at the end of the combo value. Useful for showing a detailed version of the route in order to investigate the route easily.

Notations

This table shows all of the abbreviations that can be used in the route notation, as well as an example for both Shorthand and Detailed Notations. These abbreviations are based on all of the discussed topics of the advanced scoring guide.

NotationFull NameDescriptionExample
(number)Fever Start(Shorthand) Combo to activate fever100
(number)-(number)Fever Start & End(Detailed) Combo to activate fever & when it ends100-125
PPPerfect PerfectPerfect with an Early or Late Judgment, hit an extra note early with fever100PP (Shorthand)
100-125PP (Detailed)
EEarlyHit the note early100E
100E-125100-125E
LLateHit the note late100L
100L-125100-125L
PGPerfect GreatIntentionally hit the note with a great100PG
100PG-125100-125PG
IGIntentional GreatSame as PG100IG
100PG-125100-125IG
AAir NoteHit the air note first10A
10A-11G9G-10A
GGround NoteHit the ground note first10G
9A-10G
FAPFloating Activation PointActivate fever before the noteFAP100
99 FAP 100
EAEmpty ActivationSame as FAPEA100
99 EA 100
NFNo FeverDo not include the last note for fever(L can be used as well)100NF100-125NF
MSDMasher DelayIndicates the note is a masher and must be delayed50MSD
L1Late First Note HitHit the first note lateL1
(Number)H+(HP)HPHP by holdThe minimum HP needed by the last hold to pass the chart (Survival route)100H+41HP

Video Recording / Replays

Recording sleepy girl rin plays or viewing videos of your own gameplay can help figure out the route easily by analyzing any part of the chart easily, without having to replay the level over and over again.

Sleepwalker Rin play

Using Sleepwalker Rin can help with routing as well by practicing the fever activations or to analyze the chart without recording if recording is not possible.

Spreadsheet Strategy

Click to enlarge…

The spreadsheet strategy consists of inputting every note type into a spreadsheet and calculate (or have the spreadsheet calculate) each note’s score and add all of it together to find the optimal score for a given chart. This method of Routing is very time consuming, even when the calculations are automated, but it allows for in-depth analysis of the chart and how scoring works in general, and for the potential to find higher and theoretical max scores.

Thank you for your time and I hope this little tutorial was helpful to you.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13586 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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